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Budget of Tbilisi 2014 fails again

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, February 14
For the second time the Tbilisi City Council did not establish the 2014 city budget. Disagreement between the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office and the City Council over the budget has been underway for more than a month. At Wednesday’s session, 17 deputies of the city council supported setting the city budget while 22 of them objected again. In order to establish the budget, there must be 24 affirmative votes.

According to, Irakli Shikhiashvili, the Council Head, the draft of 2014 Tbilisi city budget is too weak to be adopted. Shikhiashvili defined the budget project as utopian and ludicrous.

“This budget will prove to be an excruciating headache for the new city government. The authorities will definitely fail to meet its ridiculous requirements and this will obviously trigger a massive uproar from the public,” Shikhiashvili stated.

Deputy Tbilisi Mayor, Papuna Petriashvili, presented the city budget at the council session. As Papunashvili alleges, all 55 points recommended by the city council have been included in the 850 million lari budget draft.

According to the law, the 2014 Tbilisi City Budget must be discussed before March 1 and if the budget will not be set by then, the city will go on to a federal form of governence. That means that the Mayor’s office and City Council will be dismissed and a new Mayor will be appointed by the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s Office plans to create a new budget together with the population.

The acting Mayor, Sevdia Ugrekhelidze, said that the Mayor’s Office is starting to work on the third version of the project. “We finished consultations with the government, it anyway has no sense, so from now we plan to consult the residents of Tbilisi,” Ugrekhelidze stressed.

The former Mayor, Gigi Ugulava, said that he did not have the responsibility of managing this process. “I just have political consultations with my teammates and I think that Ugekhelidze made the absolutely right decision,” Ugulava stated adding that “all these issues are artificially created by government; in this way they are trying to push aside the competitors just before the elections.”